Relativity, the Problem With Perception
In Pursuit of Truth
A world of relativity, hell for those seeking the absolute, the truth. So many opinions, so many perspectives each claiming equal validity as merely an opinion. A world of many entities all experiencing the same phenomena yet perceiving them very differently and concluding in stark contrast. This world, this reality is very much is analogous to the story of the tower of Babel in biblical scripture. Systems built upon systems of limitation of perception and expression. I posit that this reality is designed to obscure truth. If the pessimistic slant of my words put you off reading further i.e. the emotional tone of message matters to you then it is unlikely that you seek truth; for to seek truth is to do so without expectation of its appeal or lack thereof.
My intent for this message is to stir you into giving much more consideration to the information that you are deluged with constantly and discern with greater acuity.
Though many do use the words, data, information and knowledge interchangeably they are by definition different. Simplified, data is any sensory input, something seen or heard for example. When interpreted, given context and meaning it becomes information. When collated and categorised it becomes knowledge, for example knowing how to program a computer.
Bliss or Knowing
It is probable that many if not most consider the meaning of life at least once across the span of their lives. In trying to answer this question some will take logical steps, they will ask others they trust and / or will turn to published sources such as books or websites for example. Often however they will be met with deflective cookie cutter responses along a spectrum:
ranging from the more mundane “doesn’t matter, just get on with living life”;
through the more middle ground approach of “everybody must give their own life overall meaning”;
to the less immediate “the purpose of life is to serve <Insert the name of a your deity here>” i.e. gain the favour of some higher power (usually one or more gods) and thus secure a happier lot in the now or hereafter.
Then they can choose to accept and live in theoretically blissful ignorance or doggedly pursue onward likely encountering much challenge along the way; the metaphorical blue pill / red pill moment.
The ultimate question aside, the pursuit of less lofty truths often follow a similar sequence. You question something, then you research at least a little, then you either accept what find or keep on digging to your own satisfaction. The problem is that there is so much information, so may sources, so many voices that to find the most accurate the most truthful can be a challenge at best and potentially an ordeal akin to squeezing blood from a stone.
You may be thinking well so what, why stress yourself with the accuracy of information, just Google what you need and get on with living your life. While that approach may probably get you by in many situations there are many potential downsides:
You and the very course of your life are fundamentally shaped by the information you are fed and how you interpret it, the more you know about the essential aspects of your life the more control you have over it;
Financial, legal and political systems are fundamentally information driven, the accuracy of the information you know with regard to those matters will majorly affect your prosperity as a whole;
Highly consequential situations may arise, perhaps financial, legal, medial with their outcomes closely tied to the accuracy of what you know and / or what others know about you.
Whether you care or not talking that approach will preclude you from ever knowing higher truths.
Psychological and immaterial (spiritual) mechanics simplified each individual is born with multiple inner essences that generate impulses that impel or compel them (debatable) to behave in particular patterns. Further to this events that take place outwardly then trigger reactions in accordance to the characteristics of those essences for example some people react to provocation with immediate outward verbal and / or direct action, some with careful consideration and some with repression; thus events that take place across the span of a persons life contribute toward shaping their overall being. It is possible to resist and master essences that at least impel but this requires great will power and unwavering persistence, but that is a topic for another post.
Layers of Perception and Expression
Interpretation and expression are characterised by a combination of the factors I have just described to the extent that as already mentioned it is common for a number of witnesses to objectively observe the same phenomena and subjectively reach contrasting conclusions. Then as icing on the metaphorical cake even if a group of witnesses each observe and interpret an event accurately this accuracy can then be significantly diminished at the point of recall and expression, diminished by factors such as the characteristics of the person’s memory, the language they use and whether or not in can be understood by all persons involved sufficiently, the persons general verbal communication skill (their ability to accurately express what’s in their head) and the person’s general emotional characteristics together with their emotional state at the time. Data goes in through a lot of filters and comes out through a lot of filters. Much accuracy is lost.
The methodology is simple but not easy.
1. Don’t be shy, scrutinise:
1.1. Never simply accept what you are told or what you read regardless the apparent authority and / or qualification of the source. Regardless probability, in theory some dude on the internet could possess more accurate information on a given topic than an esteemed professor at a prestigious school. Qualification does not guarantee accuracy.
1.2. Analyse the information, pick it apart and derive more questions:
1.2.1. If the source of the information is a person, ask them all the questions you have derived and to explain their reasoning. More truthful people will entertain and respond to questions to the extent of their knowledge and clarify their reasoning. Less truthful people will often react viscerally to challenges of their knowing on a given topic and be expectant of your blind trust on the matter;
1.2.2. If the source is a published resource such as book or website then re-read it’s content to see if it contains the answers to your further queries and to see if clarification of reasoning is given. If not and if possible, contact the author and ask them.
2. Learn from multiple sources:
2.1. Not just more obviously for the sake of validation via comparison but also potentially self-derivation using sources communicating conflicting information;
3. Suppress preconceived notion(s):
3.1. In pursuit of the most accurate information possible you mustn’t dismiss information simply because it isn’t in accordance to your expectations, the accurate knowledge you seek may not be what you expect.
3.2. If the information you find is radically different or contrasting to what you already know then refer to go to step 1 and scrutinise it to very essences.
Eventually you will hit a metaphorical ceiling but at that point you will know much more about the topic of your research than most. To go further likely requires first hand experience and / or experimentation and to do so is to push the bounds of what is known.
If your pursuit is regarding the meaning of life itself and you keep trying you push further beyond the apparent ceilings, so long as are unwavering in response to the Trueman show-esq phenomena that will suspiciously coincidentally pop up as distractions then you will uncover uncomfortable things. To get to that point and maintain your sanity will require inner strength: fortitude to cope with what you find and the reaction of the reality around you becoming aware of you knowing what you aren't supposed to know.